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Why every child needs explicit phonics instruction to learn to read

The Conversation – Pamela Snow and Tanya Serry

“Being able to read means being able to make meaning from printed words. At a functional level, we read to get the message – such as how many times per day to take our medication – but in a literate society reading provides much more. A successful reader is someone who can access the thoughts, opinions, memories, theories, desires, experiences and feelings of others.” (more)

How ‘Knowing Less’ Can Boost Language Development In Children

Moms – Elisa Cinelli

“Young children learn best through social contact and interaction with their environment. Talking about objects while picking them up and playing with them brings new vocabulary and ideas into toddlers’ developing minds. The fact that little kids learn best by relating new knowledge to previous concepts is not new, but surprisingly, it’s more effective with the previous concepts are fairly new as well.” (more)

Reading is more than sounding out words and decoding. That’s why we use the whole language approach to teaching it

The Conversation – Katina Zammit

“The whole language approach provides children learning to read with more than one way to work out unfamiliar words. They can begin with decoding – breaking the word into its parts and trying to sound them out and then blend them together. This may or may not work. They can also look at where the word is in the sentence and consider what word most likely would come next based on what they have read so far. They can look beyond the word to see if the rest of the sentence can assist to decode the word and pronounce it. ” (more)

Fun with rhymes and word play helps children learn to read

The Conversation – Aviva Segal and Sandra Martin-Chang

“Parents are often their children’s first literacy teachers. They oversee children signing their names on artwork and read storybooks with their kids. Yet not much research has focused on what exactly parents do when helping their children read. Our research examines reading-related knowledge, which is not the same thing as being a good reader.” (more)

Children ‘become less active during primary years’

BBC – Katherine Sellgren

“The Bristol University study found that between the ages of six and 11, children became 17 minutes less active a week with every year. Researchers monitored the physical activity of 2,132 children from 57 schools across the South West of England between 2012 and 2018. Children taking part in the study wore an accelerometer for five days. This allowed the researchers to obtain an accurate picture of how many minutes per day the children participated in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) – enough to leave them slightly out of breath and sweaty.” (more)

Driving Dual Language Forward

Language Magazine – Margarita Calderón and Shawn Slakk

“We are living in an interesting time, filled with many possibilities. More and more families from different cultures want their children to grow up bilingual or multilingual and multicultural. The other co-author of this article became multilingual/multicultural through a different route. He sought milieus where he could immerse himself in a language. He had an overwhelming need to speak more than one language and tried on a few to see how they suited him. His powerful experiences are also being replicated in dual-language (DL) schools with 50% native English speakers and 50% speakers of another native language. As we said above, for us, our languages are part of who we are—part of our public and personal cultures and make-ups.” (more)

Fact or fiction? Media literacy in 2020

The District Administration – Susan Brooks-Young

“Helping students acquire the skills they need to differentiate between fact and fiction in the media requires taking time to teach students and ourselves to slow down a bit and look at the information presented through a more critical lens. There are free online resources available from respected organizations that educators can use as a springboard for teaching deeper media literacy skills.” (more)

Profiles in Innovation: Leading at the Edge of Education

Forbes – Barbara Kurshan

“Innovation requires adding method to creativity, and innovation in the education sector particularly demands this. In our last piece we discussed the massive complexities of the sector including the fact that innovation takes place in 132,000 separate localities and that it necessitates changes in the interrelated parts that make up the core design of schools. In this piece we would like to showcase examples of education innovation from some of these localities—schools and school systems whose leaders are structuring their institutions in innovative ways, and are tackling the core design of school itself to better and more equitably serve the needs of students.” (more)

What if every child could start school ready?

E-School News – Dr. Kandace Bethea

“Children begin learning the moment they’re born. That means it’s never too early to begin setting children up for future academic success. When we talk to them and read to them, we expose them to a more literature-rich environment that helps them grow. Unfortunately, not all children receive that exposure, widening the achievement gap. Evidence of that gap begins to show up as early as kindergarten — and it affects students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds far more than their more privileged peers.” (more)

Should Skills Training Replace Higher Education?

Forbes – Tom Vander Ark

“With $1.5 trillion in college debt weighing down the economic trajectories of young Americans, many high school students and their families are considering career pathways over traditional liberal arts education. In response to widespread criticism and shrinking enrollments, retired Indiana University professor George Kuh said, “privileging short-term job training over demanding educational experiences associated with high levels of intellectual, personal, and social development…is a bad idea for individuals, for the long-term vitality of the American economy, and for our democracy.”” (more)